2016 is here, and it’s time to talk 2016 New Years Resolutions. This is a time when the world makes promises to do countless acts of self-improvements. There is no doubt that this activity makes the world a better place,which is why I’m writing a blog post about it. But making sure a New Years Resolution is successful is another story. In this article I will share an awesome strategy for making sure your resolutions are successful, as well as sharing what my personal goals are for this year.
Strategies for Making Resolutions
Strategies you say? Yes. Writing down your resolutions is easy, but making sure you can measure your achievements is where the strategy comes into play. Don’t worry! It’s super simple.
The 4 strategies I discovered are actually from the Youtube magician/lifehacker/overall cool guy Brian Brushwood. He had a Youtube video, comically titled, Why Resolutions are DUMB. Here are the 4 strategies:
1. Write them down!
This is a “special gift” that only successful people have figured out. And that gift is the power of the written goal. Post them where you can see them everyday. Print out 3 of them. One in the office. One in the mirror in the bathroom. One in the shower (that’s the time your brain is in “screensaver” mode).
2. Be specific
Clear on what you’re doing hit a target number. make them qualification. Needs to be easy to see.
3. Must have a deadline.
This is easy. New Years Resolutions have a built in deadline! Everything has got to be achieved by December 31, 2016.
4. Write multiple goals.
Don’t obsess over one single goal. Make 10 goals! And cover a long range of topics, Health, fitness, relationships, financial, career goals, etc. Maybe you’re a student who wants to achieve certain grade point averages.
My Personal New Years Resolutions
In no particular order, but I did group them in 3 categories (personal/job/social).
1. Get Perfect Teeth (PERSONAL)
Quantify: This is simple. Just floss my teeth everyday (trust me my teeth are really small), cleaning teeth is my habit (twice a day, everyday) but flossing teeth is hard specially when you got 4 wisdom tooth at the end of teeth line in each corner up and down.
My teeth are not perfect as it looks to everyone because each corner of my teeth line i have a wisdom tooth, baby tooth (yes, i still have them) 4 each precisely, they hurt me when i’m eating my favorite t-bone because they are not lining up straight. So i need them out before i get my hair grey.
The designer in me wanted perfection, even when it comes to how straight my teeth are!
Although I didn’t write down my goals in 2015, I planned for what was to come in 2016. I got a new dentist locally, where I had three cleanings. Most importantly, she took pictures and gave me a complete consultation on what it would take to have a perfect smile. In May, i will get an appointment for consultations on wisdom teeth extraction, baby tooth extraction, and on going appointments. I’m excited actually more nervous about my wisdom teeth/baby tooth extraction, because dentist told me, if they messed up with wisdom tooth tissue, my face might get bloom out so crossed fingers, i hope my dentist don’t screw up.
2. Stay on Top of My Photography (PERSONAL)
Quantify: Every photo shoot I take with my camera I will immediate save to my computer and import into PC. Use the folder structure of Year > Shoot name > Any Subgroup. I will use the built in Flickr tools to upload to social networks throughout 2016. Every photoshoot I go on, I will geotag with an Samsung Note app to save my time and sanity.
In 2015, I bought a Canon 5D and traveled to entire California. I took over 900 photos there. Unfortunately, I edited and posted only a dozen. That is really bad. So I spent the end of 2015 prepping with Adobe Lightroom Tutorials and learning better ways to manage my photos. I made some mistakes along the way of traveling, such as not using an app to geotag my photos. I found there are easy ways to do this, including this one from DigitalRev TV’s Youtube Channel.
3. Start a Real Business (PERSONAL)
Quantify: Make a decision on what idea I want to pursue and create at least the design mockup.
I have 3-4 ideas that have been floating in my head for a long time. I used this website design process as a dry run. I now know how to use Github, know that I will be using Sketch instead of Photoshop, as well as discovering what I should and shouldn’t stress about. I also discovered some great tutorial sites, such as DesignCode.io that will help me through the process. 2016 is the year I make things happen!
4. Work Smarter, Not Harder (JOB)
I realize now that being stuck in an old routines was making me work hard. So many designers are switching from Photoshop to Sketch to solve that issue. I used Sketch towards the end of 2015 and completely fell in love. And sharing with InvisionApp REALLY makes sharing faster.
6. Talk With My Siblings More (SOCIAL)
Quantify: I set a reminder on my calendar to give my siblings a call once a month on the 15th. Any more than once a month is fine, and will probably lead to us hanging out more in person.
7. Become More Social Network Engaged (SOCIAL)
Quantify: Post at least once a week on social networks.
I really need to post more design related things to become a bigger member of the design community. Sometimes, when I register for an event, such as LeanUX NYC (which I am attending in 2016), they ask for my Twitter handle. This is embarrassing, because my Twitter was not used in a while, and was no longer linked to my other accounts. My Flickr wasn’t being used. And in general I was barely posting. I’ve since fixed all of those issues. Now the only thing holding me back is sharing interesting things in my life, and there are plenty of those!
8. Wardrobe (PERSONAL/WORK/SOCIAL)
Quantify: Buy 3 good pants/shirts/shoes/accessories. Intermix them and create cool combinations. Get inpiration from blogs and store websites to see outfits.
I love wearing dress clothes. I feel so comfortable and confident in them. This might seem strange to a lot of people, especially here in San Diego. A lot of people prefer t-shirts and flip flops as much as possible. I like that on the weekends, but for work, I want to do something more.
Ever since I stopped working for a bank, my dress restrictions for work have gotten a bit relaxed. It’s always been “business casual” for me the last couple years. So my routine is just wearing some jeans, an untucked collared shirt, and some casual looking skate brand shoes. This is a far departure from what I was used to at the bank. Having come in handy for social events.
9. Wake Up Earlier (PERSONAL/JOB/SOCIAL)
Quantify: Set my recurring Samsung Note 4 alarms for an ultimate wakeup of 7:30. This means setting an alarm at 11:30 every night to feel well rested.
I’ve been in a bad routine the last couple years of staying up late. Think Woody Allen’s famous quote, “Most of life is simply showing up.” On top of all that, I feel like a million bucks in the morning when I’m early and well rested.
10. Write More (PERSONAL/JOB/SOCIAL)
Quantify: At least one blog post a month
I don’t like having to spend so much time refining my emails to get them to be perfect. I want them to be well structured right off the bat. I’m going to start analyzing other great bloggers, like Huffinpost, and see their “short and simple” methodologies when they write a blog post.
With these strategies. you’ll FIND ways to make all your New Years Resolutions happen. And as Brain Brushwood points out, it’s OK if you don’t achieve your goals! You’re probably way farther ahead and closer to them if you didn’t write them down!
At one time, I could careless about resolutions. I use to say to myself, “I don’t need New Years Resolutions. If I need to change, I do so anytime I want.” I realize now that setting goals for the New Year helps to segment your life into proper modules of time (years). Doing this “anytime” will just tire you out. Doing it at the start of the year creates deadlines and allows rest periods.
What are your 2016 New Years Resolutions? Let me know in the comments!